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Old 02-06-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
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Towing a "fiver" with a Half Ton

I have noticed some "weekender's" who tow their unit 2 hours at 50 mph now purchasing these new "lite weigh" fifth wheel units and towing them with a half ton truck to a local campsite.
If these folks decided to make a trip south to Florida are there any states who police the Gross Combined Weight Ratings (GCWR) from the truck manufacturers. Does anybody have experience with being questioned regarding tow weigh compliance? What state ?? My experience has been, no questions until you cause some damage in an accident.

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Old 02-06-2011, 02:33 PM   #2
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It has been my experience that unless you are grossly and obviously overweight you won't be pulled over as a hazard to the road. Since you are not a commercial rig you don't have to stop at weigh stations, there is little likelihood of you being taken "en passant" as the chess players say.

That is not to say an overloaded rig is not a hazard or danger to yourself, your family, and the motoring public.

Note: Just so there is no mistake. If your tow vehicle has commercial signage on it (like a company name or logo); even though you are towing a camper you MUST stop. This is one of the dangers of towing with dual purpose trucks. You had better watch your P's and Q's if you do. CDL and the works. If you blow by the weigh station, one day you may just have a conversation with a bored state trooper.


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Old 02-06-2011, 04:50 PM   #3
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Several years ago,we had to roll the scales in Iowa on I80 outside of Des Moines, there was a trooper flagging all trucks with trailers even p/u over the scales, we had a ford ranger and a coleman popup at the time, greenlight all the way through for us.
Thats the only time I have ever been scaled on the interstate.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:59 PM   #4
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There is only place I have ever heard of private vehicle weights and that is BC Canada. That being said there is no excuse for stupid. People will go to no ends to use the lightest smallest vehicle tow the biggest trailers. I just don't understand that philosophy. Someone please explain to me how this makes any sort of sense.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:31 PM   #5
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There are a number of light fifth wheels that can be safely towed with a half-ton pickup. A 2010 Ford F150 with the 5.4 liter V8, a 3.73 rear end, and the tow package has a tow rating of over 11,000 pounds and a GCWR of 16,700 pounds. There are quite a few of light fifth wheels that fall within those specs.

Forest River offers the Flagstaff, Rockwood, Cherokee, Wildwood, and Salem that have fifth wheel floorplans that fall well within those towing specs.

Over the years Ford, Chevy, and Dodge have been working hard trying to out do each and the consumer has benefited from the increased payload of these trucks. Just because you see a half-ton pickup hauling a fifth wheel, it doesn’t mean it’s overloaded.

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Old 02-06-2011, 09:44 PM   #6
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Technically they no longer manufacture 1/2 3/4 1 tonne trucks. If you look at any of their literature that are referred to(dodges anyway) 1500 2500 and so on. they haven't made reference to 1/2 tonne in the 10 years I have worked for dodge.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:25 AM   #7
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Sk RCMP are cracking down on rec vehicles for being overweight. same with not having a properly registered weight for towing/hauling. you have to be over 5000kg, 11000lbs combined to need the registration. my trailer alone weights 11,000lbs empty.

i once had 1400kg of clay in the back of my mini truck and i was telling the story about it to a guy and he flipped on me! going on about how the roads are terrible and im not helping and that im an a-hole, there is laws about that and i should be thrown in jail etc, etc etc. all i said to him was 'did i say i drove on the road' and he shut up lol
One state/province at a time!
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:16 PM   #8
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Not sure about the eastern seaboard states, but here in BC if your truck looks overloaded you can be pulled over and weighed.

"looks overloaded" is highly subjective too. The statute leaves it pretty much to the RCMP officers discretion. For example:

Tires look "bulged"
Tow vehicle in "tail down" or "lights up"
Trailer in "nose down" or "tail up"
Trailer just looks "too big" for the tow vehicle
"I just don't like the way that looks"
"I really bored, let's weigh the next trailer"
"Boy I'm Pee'd off today, let's ticket someone"

You can be pulled over at a weigh station. The vehicle weighed and if you're over the OEM stated CGVWR, GVWR, or GAWR of or either the tow vehicle OR the trailer you're leaving it by the side of teh road until you can bring it into compliance or get a special one way move permit.

One heck of an annoyance for a local, unbelievable troubles for someone from the states or another province....can you say "Tourism Killer?"

Now, I understand the "gross offenders" (you know what I'm talking about, we've all seen 'em on the road), BC has some pretty big mountains to contend with and an out of balance/overloaded rig is really dangerous out here.

But really, make a law that makes some sense. Not this subjective pull over whoever the hell you want crap.

I despise this hippie loving, tree huggin', gang war havin', spiralling out of control prices, illegal drug producing, income sucking, BS province........I can't wait for my tour to be up and I can move back east again.

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Old 02-07-2011, 08:21 PM   #9
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Newbi here and thought I would chime in on 1/2 ton -3/4 tone. In shopping for a 5th wheel it was hard to find a rig that fit with my truck. I am about to take the plunge and purchase a FR 8528RKWS Super Lite. My Tundra can tow 10300 and has a payload of 1580 and combined 16000. the base dry of the trailer 6866 and GVWR 9253. I am under my limits but pushing the edge. I think if you keep within the limits and don,t bring a house full of junk all should be well. I was shocked last week when I cleaned out my Travel Trailer to sell it. What a collection of stuff I have hidden away over the years. Not all the 5th wheels are running over.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:53 PM   #10
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All this talk of 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton makes me chuckle. I'd hate to think what everyone would say about the trailer I used to tow in the '60's with my Buick LaSabre.


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